I went back and forth all week and honestly didn't make up my mind to run it until race day morning. When I finally got out of the house to head to the start and register (which I have never done day of race before) I went about 20 feet before I noticed that there was a huge "2 mi" sign spray painted on the road.
I immediately ran back in the door to tell my family that it looked as though the race would be running right past our house - in case they wanted to come out and cheer. At that point I was so glad that I had decided to run, if I had stayed home and then watched the race run by, I would've been so bummed.
After barely a mile, (and a few more signs, that I was indeed running my warm up on the actual course)
Eclectic Edge Racing guy (I believe his name is James) that had come over from Track Town USA for our little race. He made me feel like a rock star when he asked if I'd "run a few of their races before because my name looked familiar". I explained that I was a recent Eugene transplant and was excited to see that Eclectic Edge was doing this race because they always do a stellar job (and that really is true, they're awesome).
A few quick instructions (including a note about the hilliness of the course, yeah, I was well aware of that, there really isn't a flat place to run in this town) and a thank you to the generous sponsors and we were ready to go. I lined up right on the start line because with no chip timing and cash prizes on the line, I wanted to be ready to run. A quick countdown and all 69 of us (43 women, 26 men) were sent up the hill and on our way. We went out fast... I knew we would. From the start, there were three guys and a girl that were gone then another guy, a girl and me trailing behind them. There was one more girl behind us and then the rest of the pack.
After the brief uphill from the start, we ran through the hospital parking lot (where one of the 3 lead men started walking?!) and then out onto the road and up another hill. At this point, I was even with the girl next to me as well as another guy and we were gaining on the lead girl. Pretty soon the first mile sign passed. Mile 1: 6:54.
My goal was to hopefully stick right around 7 minute miles and maybe pick up a nice little PR of under 21:31 or even better sub 21. As we started running the real hills though between miles 1 and 2, I knew that wasn't going to be very likely. The temperature had really picked up and I had definitely not been doing enough speed work to be 5K PR ready. As we were going up what seemed like a never ending hill, I pulled away from the girl I had been running alongside and easily caught and pulled away from the lead girl. Was I seriously leading the women?!
At the top of the hill I started to get really excited because we were now in my neighborhood and getting closer and closer to my house and the 2 mile marker. It was also about this time that I realized I had not had any water at all that morning. I was soooo thirsty. I began using all of my mental powers to subliminally send Dan a message to have some water ready for me when I ran by the house. I knew it was a long shot but kept thinking it over and over and over "please have some water... please have some water". Lo and behold, as we came around the corner and towards my house, I could see my kiddos sitting on the fence holding up signs and the greatest sight ever, Dan standing in the middle of the street holding a big green plastic cup of water. I probably would've finished the race without it, but it would've been a long, dry, last mile. I quickly gulped down some of the water and used a veteran running move to toss the cup back to the side of the road (to which one of my kids (Calvin?) yelled, "Hey, she just threw the glass!". The poor guy that I had been running just slightly in front of apparently went to my yard also, in hopes of a drink but the unofficial water stop had only stocked enough for me. As I was turning the corner, I heard Dan say, "I'm sorry man, I don't have any more". Mile 2: 8:14.
I realized that the PR was pretty much out of the question but at the same time realized that the overall female win wasn't so not all was lost. (Not all was lost, no kidding, I was about to win $300!!!!) The last mile, was mostly downhill, which is the way all races should finish. I probably could've pushed it a little bit more, but with the PR unattainable and my position in the race pretty much locked up I gave it a solid hard effort.
Mile 3: 7:21
last .07 (I did a great job running the tangents... it helps to know the course): 5:53 pace (see, I kicked it in to finish)
Here's a look at our hills:
Overall finish time: 22:53 for 3rd place overall and 1st female
It was a beautifully warm day for May 4th on the Oregon coast and I enjoyed standing around talking to other racers, some local and some just in town for the weekend. I thought the awards ceremony would be after the 1 mile fun run/walk so I ended up missing it while talking to Dan on the phone. I heard my name announced and had to run back to the finishing area to belatedly pick up my prize. Oops!
Then it was a quick mile cool down back home where I took my sweaty, post race self portrait
|If you're worried about his spelling abilities, it is kind of an inside joke.|
|I love Jonny's sign that Calvin helped with, "cars and trucks".|
Oh, and in case you're wondering about the prize money, don't worry, we already spent it. Actually, not really yet, but it's as good as spent. Before the race, I told Dan that if I had any chance of winning we should buy a trampoline for the backyard. The kiddos have been wanting one forever and I'm happy to be able to use something I got from running to the benefit of the whole family.